Have you ever heard the saying that communication leads to communal understanding, intimacy, and mutual valuing? Well, this saying could not be truer as it captures the whole essence of communication and why we humans engage in it. Communication functions at all levels of human interaction. It is the very channel that helps us eliminate misunderstandings, get information, and maintain relationships. However, communication performs no function unless it is effective. Hence, we will give you tips on how to improve effective communication all around.
According to respondents of a Deloitte survey, communication skill is the most critical trait for humans.
How could this be?
Why isn’t it hard work or even creativity?
Well, it turns out that all these other traits are somehow contained in communication skills.
The power of effective communication is evident in how badly most people want to be good at it.
It is an important social skill that has led people who wish to learn it to training institutes.
Notably, communicating effectively entails relaying not just information but also emotions.
This could be with family, friends, or colleagues in the workplace.
Also, as an entrepreneur, if you want to have something done in a particular way, you need to express it.
This will eliminate assumptions, as assumptions are very unhealthy to productivity.
Is The Need For Effective Communication The Same In All Environments?
It should be noted that the need for effective communication may vary depending on the environment.
For example, in the family setting, the need for communicating effectively may be relatively low due to familiarity.
Whereas, this need for effective communication is doubly essential in the workplace.
This is because at the professional level there are people from all walks of life.
It is easy to upset someone without even knowing it.
This is why improving effective communication is a must for all social beings.
To learn how to improve effective communication in any context you should first know what effective communication is.
What is Effective Communication?
Evidently, this is not just any type of communication.
It is communication that achieves its purpose.
It entails conversing and being understood.
Communicating effectively is not just speaking but listening attentively.
Communicating effectively is respecting others’ opinions and being confident.
It is also responding and giving feedback.
It is a call to friendliness, tolerance, and open-mindedness.
With effective communication, you can know when you’ve hurt someone’s feelings or when to turn away from a harsh answer.
Overall, with good communication, the likelihood of getting a customer’s order mixed up is low.
When Does Learning Effective Communication Begin?
What is the starting point for learning effective communication?
The answer to this question is simple.
Learning how to communicate effectively begins from the home.
This may seem tricky to some people especially since communication is being taught in special institutions.
However, the art of communicating efficiently is instilled in a child over time.
Think of a father who lets his child express himself even when they are wrong.
In the future, that child may still be able to communicate under pressure.
Likewise, a child who cannot express himself in a given situation may be reflecting his upbringing.
Therefore, creating an environment for children to communicate effectively is the task of every responsible parent.
The Skills Required for Effective Communication
If you want to learn how to improve effective communication, you first need to know what communication skills are.
Communication skills are those skills that help make communication progress adequately.
In addition, they are also the different mediums by which we spread messages.
Examples of these skills are writing, reading, listening, empathy, and responsiveness.
We also have the non-verbal aspects of communication.
These skills perform different functions even though they sometimes team up.
Since communication is a process, communication skills ensure that your message is delivered and responded to.
Subsequently, to learn how to improve effective communication, you must be versed with all language skills.
They will come in handy when you need to redeem yourself in awkward situations.
The Importance of Effective Communication
Why is effective communication so important?
Why should you even learn how to improve effective communication as an individual and as a business leader in the first place?
Here are a few reasons to take note of:
It Aids Personality Development
By knowing how to improve effective communication, individuals can express themselves confidently.
This way, they can impact others’ lives with what they know.
This could in turn enable them to develop strong relationships with others.
In particular, a person who cannot express themselves properly may shy away from human contact.
This may lead to a social awkwardness that makes it impossible to build strong relationships.
Research shows that people with great communication skills tend to develop stronger personalities by socializing.
Evidently, communication, apart from helping an individual enjoy a balanced life, also helps them develop good work ethics.
In this way, a person will adopt a disciplined work culture that is tolerant of others’ opinions.
It Boosts Productivity
When there is clarity of roles and instructions, the workforce will be efficient.
A chaotic environment where nobody knows their roles is unhealthy.
Effective communication helps the team understand and carry out their duties without misunderstandings.
As a leader, being able to communicate your desires and expectations will help your subordinates know what areas to work on.
Evidently, guesswork is only going to make work a tedious process.
By learning how to improve effective communication, you will curb distractions and mistakes.
This will in turn boost productivity and team effort.
It Builds Trust
Knowing how to improve effective communication has the power to build trust in your relationships.
Since good communication demands that you listen attentively and have empathy, it will be easy for trust to grow.
In essence, a person will likely trust you when they know that you do not judge them.
With trust, people can believe in you to make crucial decisions for the good of everyone.
Through communicating effectively, people can feel at ease contributing their ideas.
It Gives Direction
Knowing how to improve effective communication enables you to clearly define specific goals.
You will be able to find constructive ways to tell your team when they are falling short of expectations.
Good communication will enable you to express disappointment without being rude.
You must communicate effectively so that statements will not be misinterpreted.
Certainly, a command of communication skills will help you set realistic, healthy objectives for the organization.
When people can see the end goal of every task, there will be a boost in their interest and involvement.
It Helps in Relationship Building
Effective communication strengthens and builds relationships between people.
Knowing how to communicate politely and respecting people’s opinions will work wonders.
Undoubtedly, a team that works together without any issues will have a stronger bond.
With the knowledge of how to improve effective communication, divisions of labor will be clear.
People will depend on teammates’ strengths knowing that they will come through.
This will be better than when it’s always just a few people pulling weight.
Since good communication enhances friendliness, people will be willing to get things off their chest if they feel bothered.
Subsequently, this will heighten a positive work environment.
In this way too, a flourishing work culture, something for others to emulate, will be formed.
Effective communication will help people develop a strategy that will quell any budding misunderstandings.
Surely, this technique can also help sustain interest in whatever project you are working on.
If there is trust and unity, working together to proffer a solution will be easier and faster.
After all, disintegration is the fastest way to fail.
Furthermore, in building a team that will be resistant to hostility, you should utilize effective communication.
It Generates Increased Innovation
Communication is one of the feeders of creativity.
In fact, research shows that creative people tend to be good at communicating effectively.
Communication between family or colleagues helps you have an open mind.
In fact, it will be easy to share your thoughts and ideas without sounding dominating.
Effective communication promotes listening and respect, as such someone with an idea will not fear being rejected.
This will pump their morale and encourage them to pitch in more.
Take for instance, in today’s world, new ideas aren’t welcomed as much as they should.
This is because presenting an idea or view well, will depend more on your communication technique.
If you are not able to convince your audience, then your ideas will be overlooked.
They will not feel that you know what you are talking about.
It Enhances Decision Making
With effective communication at your disposal, you can make decisions easily.
This can be either at the family, social, or work unit.
With effective use of language, there will be a simpler avenue to put together and implement plans.
In response, there will even be a clearer understanding of decisions that are a little bit complex.
Lack of communication may cripple the ability to make plans.
This will come from not knowing what or what should not be implemented.
It Aids Public Relations
With a good command of language, navigating through even the most uncomfortable situations will be possible.
Take for instance a work press conference with reporters questioning the company about their integrity.
The persons often sent to the forefront are communication experts.
Those people are the ones who can quell the situation by answering the questions without sounding bad.
Learning how to improve effective communication can also help you handle criticism in any social context.
As an entrepreneur, good communication can help you relate with your customers better.
You will be able to decipher their needs and act accordingly.
Now that we’ve discussed the importance of effective communication, how do we improve it?
How to Improve Effective Communication
Practice Communication Skills
We’ve already mentioned that the first step to effective communication is by learning the basics.
Whether it’s in the family or social events, the tenets of communication skills should be introduced squarely.
We even suggest that it be part of the school curriculum.
This way, we are sure that the people released into society are those who can communicate effectively.
It is not a talent.
It is learned, practiced, and mastered.
Understand the different avenues messages can be passed through.
Learn those traits that will make you a better teammate or family member.
Have Interests – How to Improve Effective Communication
Without a doubt, you should have something worth saying to be able to communicate effectively.
What are your interests?
This is the only way you can learn how to improve effective communication.
What do you want to talk to people about?
Ever been on a date with a rich person who could not hold a conversation?
It was awkward, right?
Having interests let you talk exhaustively about any topic of your choice.
It shows that you are learned enough and have something to teach people.
Make sure you key into what makes you tick.
Only then can you channel the inner confidence to communicate effectively.
There is this bad pun that says communication means over-communicating.
Clearly, as funny as that sounds, it is true.
There is no such thing as too much communication.
If you want to learn how to improve effective communication, you must learn to emphasize things.
Especially if you want to get things done right.
Say it a million times if you have to.
This way your message can register in the minds of the receivers.
Be Sincere – How to Improve Effective Communication
Effective communication comes from a place of sincerity.
Are you willing to share?
Is the listener willing to learn and understand?
Undoubtedly, if the answers to these questions are yes, then effective communication is en route.
Do not hold back when conversing with people.
You do not want incomplete information or knowledge hanging in the air.
Effective communication takes two: a sender and a receiver.
Sometimes, communication is not just about talking but listening.
To learn how to improve effective communication, you must listen.
Consequently, it takes humility and patience to listen to other people talk.
Even though you think you know better, respect their time.
Listening also helps you make corrections when you’ve got it wrong.
Discard any form of distractions during this time.
Also, do not chip in unnecessary comments when another person is talking.
Enrich your Vocabulary – How to Improve Effective Communication
To learn how to communicate effectively, you must improve your vocabulary.
Rich words are the tools of language skills.
Having the right and appropriate words to use in each situation will help you communicate effectively.
With the right words, you can relay how you actually feel.
Practice by learning one new word every day.
At some point, you will begin to own these words.
Good command of vocabulary and grammar in any language will go a long way in helping you.
This is an essential key in communication.
Now, most people mistake this for arrogance or pride; these are two different things.
Confidence is having trust in your capability.
Of course, this often happens when you have practiced and learned.
With confidence, you gain command of your audience.
People are going to listen more to a person who seems sure of what they are doing.
Next time you want to give that presentation, make sure you have learned your facts.
Also, make sure you maintain eye contact with your audience.
Speak clearly, make time to answer questions, and keep to time.
Utilize Visual Aids – How to Improve Effective Communication
Against the popular notion that visual aids hamper the effectiveness of communication, we do not agree.
There is nothing wrong with trying to create a picture in the minds of people with these aids.
In fact, visual aids and effective communication are the perfect couple.
Visuality stimulates the brain and helps people key more into what is being said.
For instance, when you see a picture, you may be thinking about a particular conclusion.
However, it will even be better if you get a statement that concurs with what you were initially thinking.
But try not to go overboard with the use of visual aids.
A little will go a long way.
Speaking politely is an effective way of communication.
In this way, you can actually maintain a good relationship with people.
Try to engage with people on an emotional level.
Do not forget that emotions are part of messages.
Be aware of the non-verbal cues that people use to communicate their feelings.
Being able to decode these feelings is what will make you an effective communicator.
Know the Audience – How to Improve Effective Communication
To learn how to communicate effectively, you should know your audience.
The way you speak with an audience of kids will not be the same way you speak to a professional audience.
Knowing this will make you more prepared.
Effective communication is being able to serve your audience with what they need.
Master Time – How to Improve Effective Communication
Learn how to communicate effectively by saying the necessary things.
Decidedly, try as much as possible to be brief.
Do not heap topic upon topic.
Do not digress from the initial subject matter.
Knowing how to use your time correctly is an essential skill for effective communication.
In effect, this shows your respect for the audience and also creates time for others to talk.
In conclusion, every aspect of life demands that you communicate effectively.
To learn how to improve effective communication, you must study the nooks and crannies of communication.
If you have fallen short of this expectation in the past, it is our hope that this article helps you to improve your communication techniques.